Challenge Prompt – Study or School & Vintage

I am backing trying to do a challenge once a week.  This weeks work is based on two challenges.   The prompts were school or study and it needed to be vintage in feel.

I knew immediately I wanted to incorporate two things: girls and power of knowledge. I was off looking for vintage photos of girls studying or at school.   I found this girl working at a desk that I remembered sitting at and I know I found the perfect jumping off point for me.   I printed it and was off.  Here is the final result.


Techniques and mediums used:

  • Gold embossing paste with clock stencil
  • Spray with clock stencil
  • Transparent embossing paste with cubes (Transparent embossing paste absorbs the color of the Distress Ink it is applied over)
  • Masking – The stamped phrase  “you hold the key” is missing the words “to my heart”.  Thank you Posit-it notes
  • Stamping – I combined alphabet letters and found keys in assorted sets to stamp around the page
  • Acrylic paint
  • Distress Ink, Spray and blotter
  • Geli Plate – I could not get the background texture right, so an overlay of paint using a second generation pring with the Geli Plate solved all that.
  • Oil pastels to create the circles for texture and some resist because most of the mediums I worked in were water based.
  • Distress Crayons to darken around the little girl and make her shine
  • Watercolors – because the little girl needed some color
  • Pitt india ink artist markers – because they allow me to do some ghost work that would become permanent
  • Micro glaze – as a resist to prevent a couple of key words in the book from disappearing under the layers.
  • Gel matte medium – because no project I work on is complete without it.  It was the glue, the sealer and all-purpose medium.

For me there is so much beyond the obvious on this project of the text and the young girl at her desk.

  • The clock in ink is fading away because time is fleeting.  The clocks in the gold embossing paste because time is come forward  and we say things will get better in the future.
  • I choose to preserve the words book and read, because I feel books and reading allow us to gain knowledge.  With knowledge we have power to make informed decisions, good decisions really are what power is all about.
  • The transparent embossing paste of the cubes are meant to show that our past is always out there. Life may pile new things on in our brain, but somehow the past always manages to poke its way through all all.     The rough corners of cubes are those snags that influence our future because of things in our past good or bad.
  • There are keys all over the page of various sizes.   They represent the keys of our power and knowledge.   They can be reading, learning, job, position, voice, family, friends, money, time…  I started to label them and then realized there are so many keys in our life and they are different at different times, for different people that labeling may be a disservice and stopped after the first one.
  • Lastly is the statement “I’m learning to sail my ship”  I believe that learning to control your own life and destiny is the most important piece of power you can have and knowing oneself allows you the most personal power.


This was entered into the following challenges:







  1. oh how wonderful of a message!! i might have to use that someday on a page!!! i love how you did this and the write up in sharing it with us. thanks for joining in this months challenge at Mixed Media Monthly!! xo

  2. your page is fantastic… I love how you shared how / techniques you used to create it but I especially love the last point…. “I’m. learning to sail my ship’ and why you used it… my favourite things about created art journal pages is learning the meaning behind them….. thanks for sharing with us at Mixed Media Monthly!

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